Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Bit Of A Bike Hangup

So.

My Bike arrived a week ago.

I assembled it a few days later. And quickly discovered some issues with it that needed to be addressed. I’m decent mechanically, but a bit clumsy. And the idea of maintenance on something as important as a vehicle (even a human powered one) gives me pause. But I forged ahead and started working on things:

Brakes.

You need these things. I’m convinced of it. The brakes were set up very simply from the manufacturer. Certainly not positioned well and not even close to tight. After examining the components I figured the very easy path towards safe and effective brakes. I’ll need to adjust them again once the bike has been on the road a few times to get to optimum tension.

Tires.

These sure have changed since I first got a 10-speed back in the day. The valves are totally different and I deflated both tires before figuring out how to orient the pump and adjust the valve. Sensitive suckers, these.

Pedals.

The pedals that came with the bike are great. If you plan to race. But for everyday commuting they just won’t do. They have toe clips and straps which I’ve never liked, plus a cleat for bicycle shoes. Since my bike shoes are made by Adidas and answer to the name Stan Smith a change was needed. So I purchased some very simple, rugged pedals and installed them. Problem solved.

Rack and Panniers.

I’ve always wanted panniers. I don’t know why. Obviously they are very useful but they just scream to me that the rider is a real cyclist. Well, I’m not. This makes me a pannier poseur, I suppose. I’ll live with it. Anyway, I got a simple rack and some small, but rugged, panniers. The rack put up a fight and one of the brackets is still giving me fits. But it’s secured to the bike and should serve its purpose.

Safety.

Helmet. Check. Lock. Check. Lights. Check. Reflective vest. Check. Pant strap. Check.

MAX Pass.

I purchase my Tri-Met passes for May. I even submitted for my transit reimbursal from work. I guess this means I’m committed to this.

I am now a bike commuter. May God have mercy on our souls.

Proceed.

B!

2 comments:

Rachel said...

Good luck, Bruce! Start your 40s with an energetic boost! Here in Eugene I ride the bus and crappy mock-light-rail a few times a week and I'm pretty sure over two thirds of the riders are biking some length of their commute. I feel out of place sitting in my seat without being surrounded by bike paraphernalia and a helmet on my lap.
Good luck also in keeping your bike in tip top shape. I hope it doesn't give you as much trouble as your car was a while back.

Bob said...

See you on the road, mate!